How to Capture Professional 360° Product Photos with Basic Gear


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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Dustin Dolby of Workphlo is back with another helpful product photography tutorial. Using only minimal gear, Dolby will show you how to create professional-grade 360° product photos—an increasingly sought-after skill for e-commerce photography.

Most of the setup is extremely minimal, as most of Dolby’s home-studio setups tend to be. He’s using an old Nikon D5100 with a kit lens and a Yongnuo YN560 III speedlight with the corresponding trigger. The flash is placed inside a strip box, which is suspended above a smartphone-controlled Miops Capsule—a motorized ‘pod’ that’s typically used for capturing time-lapse photography or panoramas.

To perfectly center

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My Unusual Journey in Image Creation and Photography


This post is by Mike Keesling from PetaPixel


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My name is Mike Keesling, and I have what I think is an interesting perspective on image creation and I wanted to share it with you.

I grew up in a creative environment. My parents were both artists. Our house was the San Fernando Valley hub of the counterculture in the ’60s and ’70s. My father did light shows for Tina Turner, The Who, Pink Floyd to name a few. Busses full of hippies, painted on the outside, collaged in the inside would stop off at irregular intervals, unload tanks of nitrous oxide, pile into the pool, do their

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Photos of Flowers from a Freezer


This post is by Reed Hoffmann from PetaPixel


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These days we’re all trying to come up with new photo ideas to do around home, but how many of you have thought, ”Hey, I’ll freeze some flowers in water?” That’s a new one for me, but fortunately I know someone here who does that, and she’s happy to share her secrets.

Susan Pfannmuller is a long-time freelance photojournalist in Kansas City. As such, she covers everything from news to sports to concerts to small-town parades, and she’s been doing that for a long time. So when assignments slowed down about two years ago, she wanted to find something

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How to Use the Underrated FTP Transfer Feature on Sony Cameras


This post is by Dmitri Popov from PetaPixel


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The FTP transfer feature in the Sony α7 Mark III (and other newer Alpha models) doesn’t usually get a lot of attention. Sure, with all the modern technologies and apps, it’s easy to overlook this humble feature. But when it comes to transferring RAW and JPEG files, FTP can really hold its own.

In fact, it has several important advantages:

6 Wacky DIY Smartphone Rigs: How to Build a DIY ‘Gimbal’ and More


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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The folks over at COOPH have released a “Best of DIY Smartphone Rigs” video that covers some truly wacky ideas. From a DIY ‘gimbal’ to a scary looking spinning rig, there are at least a few ideas here you definitely haven’t tried yet.

The video describes six creations in all, each showing various levels of ingenuity (or is it insanity) to create a variety of janky stabilizers and motion control rigs for the smartphone shooter on a budget. Whatever you think of the usefulness of these ideas, you have to give COOPH points for creativity.

The ideas covered include:

How to Make a Portable DIY Camera Battery Charging Board


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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The filmmakers over at Threefold have created a DIY battery charging board with a very useful twist: it’s portable. And in the video above, they break down exactly how you can build your own version to suit your on-the-go creative needs.

This definitely isn’t the first DIY battery charging board we’ve featured on PetaPixel, but most of the builds we’ve seen in the past are meant to sit permanently in your home studio. The difference with Threefold’s board is that it was built to follow them along from shoot to shoot.

This is incredibly useful for video teams, of

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This Joker Photo Was Shot with a Toy Figure and Household Items


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Editorial travel and commercial automotive photographer Arjun Menon has been exercising his creative muscles as of late by shooting cinematic scenes at home using action figures and household items.

“I was listening to this song […] when this idea popped into my head,” Menon says. “Joker falling down a skyscraper and yet showing no signs of fear or remorse! After all, being a sociopath comes with their own ups and downs.”

The above photo of Joker falling from a skyscraper was captured with an assortment of things, including an air conditioning cover and some computer equipment.

Menon began by

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How I Turned an E-cigarette Into a Tiny Smoke Machine for Photo Shoots


This post is by Petri Damstén from PetaPixel


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I’m fine-art photographer Petri Damstén from Kuopio, Finland, and in this article I’ll share how I created a tiny smoke machine from an electronic cigarette and 3D printed a part for precise smoke distribution control.

My first version of the smoke machine was bits and pieces glued together, but that wasn’t very robust and it broke. Now that I have a 3D printer, I wanted to revisit this project and make it properly.

Smokers can suck smoke to their lungs and blow big clouds of smoke. I’m not a smoker myself so that will only end up in coughing. So

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This Photographer is Printing Photos on Algae


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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There are various mediums and techniques you can use to create prints of your photos, but have you considered using algae? That’s what photographer Russell Marx has been experimenting with, and the result is impressive.

Marx, a Ph.D. student in neuroscience, recently acquired an enlarger and began thinking of ways to use it for an interesting photo project.

“I’ve always liked biology, and inspired by microbial art, I looked for a way to merge photography and science,” Marx tells PetaPixel. “I recall a biology class where we put foil over leaves to make stamp patterns in the chlorophyll. So

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How I Shot a Car Flying Off a 100-Foot Jump


This post is by Daniel Schenkelberg from PetaPixel


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I’m San Diego-based photographer Daniel Schenkelberg, and in the 1-minute video above, watch as I show you how I captured this face on remote camera shot mid-air.

I am a big fan of running remote cameras as I am a solo shooter and a secondary angle is paramount in one-take situations. Although you can never truly rely on your remote camera to trigger, the photo gods were looking down on me this day and helped me capture some shots I have only dreamt about.

I linked up with 7-time off-road champion and viral video sensation RJ Anderson for this

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Shooting a Professional Timelapse on a Smartphone


This post is by Patrick Poh from PetaPixel


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Hi! My name is Patrick Poh, I’m from Singapore, and I have been playing with timelapse photography for a few years. I recently completed the above timelapse video using a 3-year old phone (Sony XZ Premium) and a phone gimbal (Zhiyun Smooth Q), and I want to share about how it was done.

This project was inspired after seeing Morten Rustad’s work where he created a beautiful timelapse video in Norway (using a smartphone).

Earlier this year, Kirill Neiezhmakov (another award-winning timelapse/hyperlapse professional) visited Singapore and we had the opportunity to meet up again. We visited several

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How to Create Silly Animations from Old Public Domain Photos


This post is by Nicola Tröhler from PetaPixel


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Thank you to everyone who read the recent article about my short animations, and to all of the people who reached out to ask me for a tutorial. Since so many people were curious, I decided to put together a tutorial where I take you along for the ride while I create one of the animations from the original article.

To follow along, you’ll need some basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects, but this is really just intended as a starting point for anyone who wants to try their hand at basic animation. There are a lot

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How I Shoot Solargraphs with a Digital Camera


This post is by Christopher Getschmann from PetaPixel


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Solargraphies (pinhole images on photographic paper that capture months of the sun arching across the horizon) were a thing starting sometime in the 2000s. When this caught on broadly in the early 2010s, it got a lot of people excited for film again.

Quite a few people apparently started dropping cans with paper and pinholes in woods and the public urban space and I very much like this idea.
Solargraphy.com by Tarja Trygg is collecting hundreds of wonderful examples.

While pinhole cameras built from beer cans and sewer plumbing tubes have a very appealing DIY character, you can even

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Photographer Captures the ISS Flying Across the Face of the Sun


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Los Angeles-based photographer Mack Murdoc recently made this amazing photo of the ISS transiting (i.e. passing across the face of) the Sun.

Murdoc was shooting with a ZWO ASI120 Monochrome⁠ camera and SOLARMAX II 90MM DOUBLE STACK telescope at a focal length of 800mm on a Orion Atlas EQ-G⁠ computerized GoTo telescope mount.

“Wow, I seriously can’t believe I got this shot,” Murdoc writes. “It amazes me that doing something like this is even possible.”

To shoot the photos, Murdoc carefully planned things out before traveling an hour into the desert in hopes of capturing an event that

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A Beginner’s Guide to Focus Stacking


This post is by Chris Lee from PetaPixel


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Focus stacking is a fun and easy technique you can do right at home with nothing more than your camera, lens, and editing software. In fact, the Fujifilm X-T2, X-T3, and X-T4 series of cameras—and many others—contain a “focus bracketing” feature that lets you do this automatically.

The “Focus Bracketing” setting on your camera allows a series of individual consecutive shots to be taken at incrementing focus points automatically. These images are then blended together using post production software such as Photoshop, Helicon Focus, Zerene Stacker, and others.

The video tutorial is broken down into three parts: getting your (Fujifilm

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A Dubai Rainstorm Timelapse from the World’s 2nd Tallest Residential Tower


This post is by Ahmad Alnaji from PetaPixel


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As we are in April, the last days of the good weather in Dubai are coming to a close. We had one of the rare strong rainfalls last week here in Dubai. These weather conditions are very rare in the UAE, so I decided to document it as a short 2-minute time-lapse from where I am staying right now, the second tallest residential tower in the world.

I decided to title it WAVES because of how all these clouds — especially cumulus clouds, which are not seen very often in Dubai — were moving in the sky like ocean waves,

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How I Photograph the Milky Way with Medium Format Film


This post is by Jason De Freitas from PetaPixel


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My name is Jason De Freitas (@jase.film on Instagram), and I’m an analog photographer based in Australia. In this article, I’ll share how I shoot the Milky Way from my backyard on medium format film.

The Challenge

The main challenge with analog astrophotography is reciprocity failure. Film doesn’t maintain a linear response for exposures longer than a couple of seconds — double the exposure time no longer doubles the exposure result on the film.

A Milky Way photo with a DSLR would normally be in the range of 20 to 30 seconds at an ISO of 1600 to

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How to Use a Waveform Monitor for Better, Faster Photo Editing


This post is by Sean Gallagher from PetaPixel


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Thanks to everyone who read my previous article on my process as a TV show set photographer, and all of you who got in touch with questions and comments. People had a range of questions, especially about how I use a waveform monitor, so I’ll make this a fairly wide-ranging post to try and answer everything.

Why Waveform?

I don’t do a ton of camera shading (AKA video engineering, “video op”) work, but when I started and as I was learning, I kept saying that I wished I had a waveform monitor for photography. I couldn’t figure out how

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My Workflow for Editing a Watch Photo


This post is by Bruno Candeias from PetaPixel


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Two years ago, I took an online class about product photography editing that completely changed the way I approach the photographic process. Coming from a background of street photography using film cameras, I have always been very “purist” about the whole process, trying as much as possible to preserve the original image by only making slight adjustments on light and contrast.

This is fine when you’re dealing with a black-and-white abstract image, but when you’re editing an image for a potential client or watch brand, you need to go the extra mile and make sure that the piece is displayed

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Remotraits: Shooting Portraits via Facetime Through Various Materials


This post is by Nick Fancher from PetaPixel


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Because of the quarantines currently sweeping the country and world, creatives have had to get especially creative to make collaborative art in spite of distance. I’ve seen photographers shooting portraits of people from the sidewalk and through windows. I’ve also seen photographers shooting via conferencing apps. I, too, recently conducted my own remote portrait sessions, which I’ve decided to call Remotraits.

After exploring a range of different techniques, I found a sweet spot when I began shooting through different substances and materials (a technique I’ve been exploring in my Strata series this past year). The resulting images look exactly how

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